Ferriday High students receive diplomas as part of Thursday commencement

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2003

FERRIDAY, La. &045; Black and gold balloons filled the stands at the Melz Football Field on Thursday night in honor of this year’s Ferriday High School graduates.

&uot;It came too quick,&uot; said Dasha Thompson, a graduate, referring to the end of her time there.

Co-valedictorians Jokora Martin and Sharina Mays and Salutatorian Latasha Cain led the 80 graduates onto the field and towards their future.

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The co-valedictorians both earned 3.96 grade point averages.

&uot;I always strive to be a step above the rest,&uot; Cain said as she presented her salutatorian speech.

&uot;We acknowledge that these past four years have been the best years of our lives.&uot;

Cain, who graduated with a 3.57 grade point average, was awarded a $4,000 scholarship to attend Indiana State University.

Martin referenced a favorite quote during her speech.

&uot;Experience is like a knife. It can either hurt you or help you, depending if you grab it by the handle or the blade,&uot; Martin said.

&uot;I hope the graduates will grab life by the handle.&uot;

Martin also thanked Dr. Lester &uot;Pete&uot; Peterman, Concordia Parish school superintendent, for providing the students of Ferriday High School with the facilities they need.

Martin was awarded a total of $10,000 to be used towards her college education at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Mays also thanked the school board, principal, faculty and staff and reminded the graduates that &uot;graduating from high school is not the end. It’s just the beginning.&uot;

Mays received $2,000, which she will use towards her college education at Louisiana Tech.

Although most of the graduates plan to attend college in the fall, some have other dreams.

&uot;As of Sunday, I’m gone,&uot; said graduate Louis Washington. He has joined the Marine Corps and will head to Paris Island, S.C., for basic training.

After the military, Washington plans to attend Southern University in Baton Rouge and earn a degree in chemical engineering.

Washington’s lifelong friend and fellow graduate, Damion Turner, is serving in the National Guard and will receive basic training at Fort Seal, in Oklahoma. Turner also plans to attend Southern and study law.

One graduate is planning to attend Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Natchez instead of moving away from home.

&uot;It’s close to home, and I don’t want to venture out right now,&uot; Pamela Southern said.

Most of Ferriday High’s graduates have gone through school together and have many memories that will be hard to forget.

Dasha Thompson, for instance, said she will miss the football games and winning the spirit stick, which the Class of 2003 won every year.

The spirit stick is given to the class that cheers the most for the school during pep rallies.

Peterman, who is retiring as superintendent, addressed the graduates by saying, &uot;I assure you they (school board members) have a special place in their hearts for Ferriday High School.&uot;